The Mines and Energy Committee of the Zimbabwean parliament is set to summon Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe to testify in a probe into lost revenue from diamond mining.
This is to mark the first time Mugabe will be expected to account for his actions during his nearly four-decade rule of the country before being ousted in a military take over last November.
Mugabe’s administration was accused of siphoning diamond profits and he is expected to answer questions relating to his 2016 claim that Zimbabwe had lost $15 billion in income from diamond mining due to corruption and foreign exploitation.
Chairperson of the Zimbabwean parliamentary committee on Mines and Energy, Temba Mliswa told the AFPnews agency the committee wants to find out from Mugabe “where he was getting the $15 billion figure (from)” since he was president at the time.
Mliswa also told the South African news portal Mail and Guardian that “he is not being prosecuted. We are just going to get oral evidence from him on the time he was President.”
Although no date has been set for Robert Mugabe to testify, it is unclear if the 94-year-old former leader will be forced to face grilling from the lawmakers.
The Committee has meanwhile summoned former minsters, ex-police chiefs and heads of several government departments over the matter.
Zimbabwe’s vast diamond wealth has been largely squandered through mismanagement and corruption.
International NGO, Global Witness, last year in a report accused Zimbabwean leaders of diverting profits from diamond mining for years to fund the crackdown on their political opponents.
The NGO also indicated that the Zimbabwean secret service has quietly held shares in a company that mines diamonds in the Marange mine.